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July 12, 2016


This Isn’t A Library: New, Notable Releases Into Comics’ Direct Market

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Here are the books that make an impression on me staring at this week's no-doubt largely accurate list of books shipping from Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to comic book and hobby shops across North America.

I might not buy all of the works listed here. I might not buy any. You never know. I'd sure look at the following, though.

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APR161632TIME CLOCK ORIGINAL GN EYE OF MAJESTIC CREATURE $19.99
Leslie Stein is carving out the most idiosyncratic series of comics collections since Kim Deitch. No one else in comics draws like that, or manages that particular light yet slightly depressing tone. They are among the favorites I get to read any calendar year.

imageMAR160083 USAGI YOJIMBO TP VOL 030 $17.99
All hail the great cartoonist Stan Sakai and his magnificent achievement Usagi Yojimbo on a 30th collected volume in the main series. That is a staggering amount of work, and the consistency of the work is one of the great achievements in modern comics. I never have a bad time reading those books.

APR161896 BOULET'S NOTES VOLUME 1: BORN TO BE A LARVE GN $28.99
Mighty Boulet of the "I can do a comic about anything that crosses my path" fame (he didn't say that; it just seems like that) has a new book series. One notable thing about Boulet doing a book series is that the reading experience shifts from the prodigiousness of the talent to how much of it works by itself in prose form. I'm betting a lot.

MAR160108 WANDERING ISLAND TP $14.99
This Kenji Tsuruta work is glorious-looking. I don't have a context for the work other than that, although what little I know of Tsuruta indicates someone that is not prodigious in terms of pages made.

MAR160264 TALES OF THE BATMAN ALAN BRENNERT HC $29.99
This is a handy collection of comics written by screenwriter Alan Brennert, whose smattering of works in the funnybook medium have been loved by sophisticated, knowledgeable fans of the superhero genre for a long while. You don't have to read this book where it sits on the stands, but you can clap yourself on the back for recognizing the name. I think most of Brennert's Batman comics were Brave And The Bold stories.

MAR160502 ADVENTURES OF DIETER LUMPEN GN $49.99
MAY162031 THE OSAMU TEZUKA STORY: A LIFE IN MANGA AND ANIME SC $29.95
Here's a couple of stand-alone works with respectable but very focused audiences. The first is I'm guessing a collection of the 1980s Spanish series working out of the broad, peach-fuzzy bellow of European action-comics tradition. The latter is as close to an approved bio in comics form we'll like to see for a figure that big. One problem with that one is that many readers have moved past caring about the official version and are looking for dirt and controversy.

MAY160534 LOVE ADDICT CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL DATER TP $24.99
This is Koren Shadmi's walk through hook-up culture with the kind of digital component that makes for a very fine feature article, book, movie, TV series pitch. It's interesting subject matter, though, and I haven't seen a page of this one yet. Ted Rall wrote a similar book about a period of sensual excess in his own life, so there may be comparisons. Someone's going to nail this subject matter (pun intended) and make a ton of money, though. I'm interested to see this.

APR160803 MONSTRESS TP VOL 01 $9.99
The latest popular Image series to receive a price point built to make it a stepping-on point for new readers. There's a risk, but the formula gets repeated by Image so many times that it must be working. It's very attractive work.

JUN150549 MORNING GLORIES #50 $5.99
MAY160667 WICKED & DIVINE #21 $3.50
MAY160818 VISION #9 $3.99
MAY161287 GOLDIE VANCE #4 $3.99
APR161199 MAGIC WHISTLE VOLUME 3 #2 $5.99
MAR161026 TITAN #3 $4.95
MAR161028 VILE #1 $7.95
MAY161051 TERRA FLATS #1 $4.99
MAY160224 NEW SUPER MAN #1 $2.99
MAY160083 ABE SAPIEN #35 $3.99
Hey, comic books, including a 50th issue for the series I've never been able to understand. Wicked & Divine is moving at a bullet's pace now, and is a fun read. Vision I've lost track of since the dog showed up, but is Marvel's most widely-praised book of the moment. Goldie Vance is about two issues past where I thought it might be and I'll have to get into that one soon. Here's a second issue for the anthology version of Sam Henderson's humor book Magic Whistle; I liked issue #1. The next three are also from the Alternative Comics direct market consortium. I've only read Titan but the other two look equally worth a check-out. New Super Man is written by that nice man Gene Luen Yang, apparently from an idea by Jim Lee. Finally, let's end rather than begin with a Mignola-verse comic book.

APR161083 TOTALLY AWESOME HULK TP VOL 01 $17.99
Encountering a Marvel book that puts out enough issues to get a trade paperback before the series is rebooted with a new #1 is like seeing a rhinoceros living in suburbia with a wife and kids and job and walking on two legs, worried that he'll soon be returned to captivity. This take on the Hulk with Korean-American character Amadeus Cho as the lead has been I guess pretty well-received; I like the Cho character without the Hulk stuff, too.

APR161635 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #11 $3.99
MAY161507 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE GN BOX SET 1983-1985 $49.99
MAY161506 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE GN VOL 04 $27.99
More from Ed Piskor, primarily and most importantly a new single issue of HHFT. I can't imagine there exists a better value for effort expended in all of comics. I will have the single issues and I will have some sort of collected version, I just haven't decided on the latter yet.

MAY161577 MILO MANARA'S GULLIVERA DLX HC $24.95
I like the idea of Manara more than I enjoy reading the books he did, both by himself and with collaborators, so I would definitely picks this up and give it a once-over. I know I have it in my library somewhere in a different form, although that could be an overstep.

MAR169137 ART & BEAUTY MAGAZINE DRAWINGS BY R CRUMB HC $35.00
This looks like a fine resting home for this late-period Crumb project of note: a series of drawings by the artist working from photographs and other material, some explained or unpacked a bit via text and some note. I think these are very pleasurable drawings, so a one-shot volume including the newer third issue seems super-welcome.

DEC150405 AL WILLIAMSON STAR WARS EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ARTIST ED HC $0.00
I like Stars Wars stuff just fine, even the new material, although I get a little depressed that much of its seems so easily divorced from the idea that it came from a single creator. The thing I like most about Star Wars is that it's given a series of artists and actors a comfortable space in which to craft some enjoyable art. This includes Al Williamson, one of the all-time under-appreciated cartoonists and someone who isn't like Carl Barks when it comes to excellent work in service of another's creation, but certainly could be seated at the front table during that particular banquet. I bet these pages are gorgeous.

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The full list of this week's releases, including some titles with multiple cover variations and a long, impressive list of toys and other stuff that isn't comics, can be found here. Despite this official list there's no guarantee a comic will show up in the stores as promised, or in all of the stores as opposed to just a few. Also, stores choose what they carry and don't carry so your shop may not carry a specific publication. There are a lot of comics out there.

To find your local comic book store, check this list; and for one I can personally recommend because I've shopped there, albeit a while back, try this.

The above titles are listed with their Diamond order code in the first field, which may assist you in finding comics at your shop or having them order something for you they don't have in-stock. Ordering through a direct market shop can be a frustrating experience, so if you have a direct line to something -- you know another shop has it, you know a bookstore has it -- I'd urge you to consider all of your options.

If I failed to list your comic, that's because I hate you.

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posted 5:25 pm PST | Permalink
 

 
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